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Saturday, 11 August 2012

What a Week!!!!

I had the most amazing week last week! On Thursday I went to Greenwich for the first day of the Olympic dressage which was just awesome! Everything about it was wonderful - the journey on public transport to and from the venue, the organisation, the venue, the people working there, the atmosphere, the dressage itself - it was a fantastic experience with a carnival atmosphere and one I will never forget. The scale of the stadium, which was all constructed from scaffolding, was just jaw dropping, the scenery was beautiful and the whole experience made me very proud to be British. I couldn't get over the fact that I was actually there, at an Olympic Games!!!!!                              

The view from our seats.



One of the beautiful flower arrangements.


Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Horjis




The big screen very near to us.

Mike was working and couldn't come but my non-horsey companion who loved every moment of it, much to his surprise, and mine!!!

The stadium is just visible in the background.

The Cutty Sark which is very near the venue.

Then on Sunday we went to Dorset in pursuit of a brand new business venture! We stayed overnight at a guest house at Lulworth Cove, which is stunningly beautiful.
The view from the hotel window

Early the next morning I walked along the very steep coastal path to Durdle Door. This was the view looking back down the path to Lulworth.

The bay before Durdle Door.

Durdle Door itself.


The views from the path on the way back.

Lulworth Cove

Stair Hole

We then went to Monkey World which is the biggest Ape Rescue Centre in the world and was lovely to visit. I especially liked the Golden Cheeked Gibbons and the Orangutans.

This Lemur came down from the tree and walked along the fence to a bench where some people were sitting. The Lemur's minder asked the people to move as it is her favourite bench! She then sat down, surrounded by people like me with cameras, snapping away at close quarters, curled up and went to sleep!




A Squirrel Monkey looking very cute! 


Now for the reason we went to Dorset in the first place! Now that we are married we fancied starting a brand new joint venture- something that's ours as a couple right from the start, and hopefully one which will at least pay for itself, so we're going to start a very small Mediterranean Miniature Donkey Stud.

Mediterranean Miniature Donkeys are a proper breed which have more or less become extinct in their native countries of Sardinia and Sicily. The breed was saved by becoming very popular in the US and they were first imported into the UK in 2000. They are still quite few and far between in the UK and it's been quite difficult to find any quality mares for sale but we've been very lucky and managed to buy 2 lovely foundation mares to start our stud.

Country Music Patsy Montana II and Wolfheart Cash Quixote Kia were imported from the US as foals and they are now 6 years old. They are just 33" tall (the max height is 36") and they are in foal to a multi championship winning (both in this country and in the US) jack, Itsy Bitsy Tomcat, who is just 29" tall. The foals are due next April and will be about the height of a wellington boot at birth!

We are hiring a lorry and going to collect the girls on 21st August

Patsy
They are VERY friendly!!
                                                                     Kia and Patsy



This is the jack they are in foal to - Itsy Bitsy Tomcat.




It's all very exciting! We've got loads of plans for taking them to county shows and other events so more people can find out about them, setting up a website, etc. I've really missed breeding something and I was never very comfortable breeding animals for meat. We were looking for something that that we would love and really enjoy, and that there would be a demand for, and I think we've found the ideal project!

4 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time at Greenwich and the donkeys are lovely! When I helped at the Donkey Sanctuary the boss of the field was a miniature donkey called Eddie. He was just like Donkey from Shrek and had such a great personality!

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  2. Way cool, all the way around!

    The Olympics were fabulous, and having been to the Games twice myself (Atlanta and Montreal) I can vouch for the fact that there is nothing quite like the experience.

    What a wonderful trip you had.

    I am looking forward to news on the donkeys. So cute.

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  3. Thank you both very much!!

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  4. A fun bit of local (to me) info: the Shrek donkey was modeled after a real live famous Palo Alto (California) miniature donkey named Perry. There is a little city park, Bol Park, along a bike path that has had miniature donkeys for decades. I can't paste in the pictures, but here's a link:

    http://www.rosettastoneinc.com/california/donkeys/index.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0pGL78Mi5s

    Legend says that Perry was either orphaned or removed from his mom at too young an age, so he is fairly insecure. He's also known for his head-tossing and pushy attitude. We had visited Perry for years before see the Shrek movie, and it was astonishing to see him as a cartoon with Eddie Murphy as his voice. The similarity between Perry and Shrek's Donkey were most obvious in the first movie. The team that started working on the movie was from a small Palo Alto company; the movie was distributed by Dreamworks. Perry was not given a credit in the movie, which we all think is a shame. His attitude and mannerisms were very clearly the basis of the cartoon donkey.



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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!